Today is Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Caney revisited

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The Big Bird with a nice rainbow.

It is hot and going to get hotter. You can bet on that. It is not daylight and it is 75-degrees.

So, I slip on the fleece jacket to my jogging suit. It will feel good. No matter what the temperature, until the sun gets up, it is cold on the Caney Fork.

Over 30-years ago, I used that as my opening for a magazine article I did on trout fishing the Caney. Maybe you read it, "Silver Bullets of the Caney Fork."?

It is August 31, and Mark Campbell and I, once again visit the beautiful river.

Since it is still dark, we ease the boat up by "the pond". That is an area near the dam, where the water runs out of the rocks. We piddle around there for a while, waiting for daylight and catch a few stocker trout.

We also run into Lucas Haskins and watch him land a fish. He is a Lebanon lad, Charles' grandson. I like the way he has his kayak tricked out, especially the running light.

It finally gets daylight and we float on down, picking up a fish here and there.

It is nothing like it used to be. In a bit, it will get crowded with boats of all descriptions and anglers of all varieties. We have already met an angler from Florida.

Now, we have it to ourselves. As always, the scenery is fantastic. The fog swirls and haunts eddies and riffles. It lays low on the water, smoke-like. Logs, appear like ghosts and blue herons populate every bank. We even see a coyote, micing in a clearing.

We caught plenty of fish, maybe 18 in total. But there was a time, not so long ago, when we would catch that many, each. And they would be bigger. Mark did land the biggest rainbow I have seen on the river in three or four years-one about 3.5-pounds. And he lost a good brown due to poor angling tactics. At least, that is my story.

The closer we got to the takeout at Happy Hollow, the slower the fishing and the more anglers. I even got a picture of a guy from Pennsylvania landing a freshly stocked fish, (they stocked just that morning, in preparation for the Labor Day rush.) Long way to come for a few stocker trout. But he seemed happy.

The fishing on the Caney, both in numbers and size has declined drastically in the last few years. I don't know for sure, why. I suspect it has something to do with the work on the dam. You can catch enough fish to make it interesting and no way, you will beat the scenery.

But better take a jacket if you are going early to catch one of the silver bullets of the Caney Fork.

And wear your life jacket if they start generating.

Contact the author at jsloan1944@gmail.com

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